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C.I.A. Double Agent's Son Admits Spying Conspiracy

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By Caleb Groos on August 28, 2009 9:50 AM

The son of a former C.I.A. double agent who spied for Russia has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act an an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy to launder money.

As reported by the AP, Nathaniel Nicholson, son of former C.I.A. agent Jim Nicholson, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges relating to participation in his father's continued espionage activities. In 1997, the father became the highest ranking C.I.A. officer ever convicted of spying. He received 23 years for giving Russian intelligence agents information regarding the C.I.A.agents he trained, along with other secrets.

His son of the former agent would have faced 20 years in prison for helping his father collect money owed to his by the Russians. But prosecutors has recommended a sentence that could include only probation in a plea deal in which 25 year old Nathaniel agreed to testify against his father, if necessary. Both were charged with new counts of conspiracy to operate as an agent of a foreign government and launder money, along with new espionage charges.

According to the charges, Jim Nicholson sent his son to San Francisco, Mexico City, Lima, Peru and Cyprus between 2006 and 2008 to meet the father's Russian handlers and collect money the imprisoned father felt he still had coming to him.

According to the AP, the son collected about $45,000 from the Russians, who also wanted information about what U.S. authorities learned about Russian intelligence operations after the elder Nicholson was caught.

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